Teaching and Researching Big History

The largest-ever gathering of Big History scholars, scientists, professors, teachers and graduate students will converge on Grand Rapids, Michigan this August as the International Big History Association holds its inaugural conference event.

Hosted by Grand Valley State University and the Global Institute for Big History, the conference theme will be "Teaching and Researching Big History: Exploring a New Scholarly Field." The conference seeks to initiate and generate dialogue through a series of panels, roundtables, workshops and general discussions with a significant focus on the expansion of scholarship in the pedagogy of Big History.

Keynote speakers will include Lawrence Gundersen, an environmental historian and professor at Jackson State Community College in Tennessee, and Walter Alvarez, a professor of geology at the University of California, Berkeley. The speakers and panels will focus on a variety of topics, including:

  • Graduate Work in Big History
  • Research Agendas in Big History
  • The History of Big History
  • Little Big Histories
  • Teaching Big History (all levels and formats, including E-learning)
  • Big History and Ethics
  • Big History and the Future
  • The Politics and Future of Big History

The IBHA is excited to announce that the Midwest World History Association will also be hosting their Third Annual Conference concurrently with the IBHA conference: "The Reshaping of Planet Earth: Connections Between Humans and the Environment in World History.

Main Conference Events 

Registration begins: Thursday, August 2, at 2:00 pm (All times Eastern Standard Time) 

Thursday, August, 2, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm 

Combined Opening Reception, Grand Rapids Public Museum 

Friday, August 3 – Sunday, August 5, (Sessions begin at 9:00 am) 

Ongoing Panels, Discussions and Workshops, DeVos Center & Honors College, Grand Valley State University 

Friday, August 3, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm 

Combined Reception, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, featuring MWWHA Keynote Speaker, Dr. Lawrence Gundersen (Environmental Historian and Professor, Jackson State Community College, Tennessee) 

Saturday, August 4, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm 

Combined Conference Dinner, Kirkhof Center, GVSU, featuring IBHA Keynote Speaker, Dr. Walter Alvarez (Professor of Geology, University of California Berkeley) 

Sunday, August 5, 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm 

Combined Wrap-up Session w/Keynote (TBA), followed by Combined After Glow Reception, DeVos Center, GVSU 

Conference Registration Fees 

IBHA Members: Early $195 | Regular $220 | Late $245 
Non-Members: Early $335 | Regular $360 | Late $385 
IBHA Full-Time Student Members: Early $100 | Regular $120 | Late $140 

Early Registration runs from April 1 - June 1, 2012 Regular Registration runs from June 2 – July 19, 2012 Late Registration begins on July 20, 2012 

Guest Pass (good for entry to Evening Social Events only): Early $105 | Regular $130 | Late $155 

Conference Registration Fees include all of the following

- Entry to all Conference Panels including the IBHA and MWWHA Essential Panels 
- Attendance at the Opening Reception 
- Attendance at the Friday Reception 
- Attendance at the Conference Dinner 
- Optional IBHA Business Meeting 
- Lunch Provided for the 3 Full Days of Conference Activities 
- Morning and Afternoon Coffee Breaks 
- Wrap-up Session w/Keynote Address and Closing Remarks 
- After Glow Reception 
- And much more 

Housing Accommodations 

All housing accommodations (with exception of The Courtyard Marriott) are in downtown Grand Rapids, close to Grand Valley State University and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and Grand Rapids Public Museum. The discount rates won’t last. Please note: All Conferees need to make their own accommodations reservations. 

Holiday Inn

IBHA has a block of 60 double rooms at a discounted rate of $112 per night (single/double/triple/quad occupancy). Room Reservations are on an individual call-in basis at 888-465-4329 (toll-free) or 616-235-7611. In addition to a restaurant and indoor pool, more details of amenities can be found at the following link: www.holidayinn.com/grandrapidsdt. Reference: International Big History Association. Discount rates are not guaranteed after JULY 2, 2012. 

City Flats Hotel 

The IBHA has a block of 8 double (1 w/handi-cap facilities), 5 King, and 7 Queen rooms at a discounted rate of $129 per night on Thursday and $155 per night on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (single/double/triple/quad occupancy). Room Reservations can be made by calling 616-451-1892. Reference: International Big History Association Conference. In addition to being a green/sustainable hotel, more details on amenities can be found at the following link: www.cityflatshotel.com. Discount rates are not guaranteed after July 25, 2012. 

Courtyard by Marriott (Amway Hotel Collection) 

The IBHA has a block of 25 double rooms at a discounted rate of $139 per night (single/double/triple/quad occupancy). Room Reservations can be made by calling 800-971-4762 (toll-free) or 616-242-1500. Reference: International Big History Association Conference. Please note: This is not within walking distance of the conference. Hotel amenities can be found at the following link: www.Marriott.com/Courtyard.  Discount rates are not guaranteed after July 2, 2012. 

JW Marriott (Amway Hotel Collection) 

The IBHA has a block of 20 double rooms at a discounted rate of $159 per night (single/double/triple/quad occupancy). Room Reservations can be made by calling 888-844-5947 (toll-free) or 616-242-1500. Reference: International Big History Association Conference. Rooms may also be booked online through the website at: www.ilovethejw.com. Enter Group Code: ibhibha. Discount rates are not guaranteed after July 2, 2012. 

Experience everything Grand Rapids has to offer at www.experiencegr.com. We are looking forward to seeing you in Grand Rapids, Michigan! 

Registration 

Please check the website for mail-in PDF registration form and online-registration details. 

Note re Membership: Although non-presenters do not have to be members of the IBHA to register for the conference, if you are not currently a member and would like to take advantage of the discounted member registration fees, please consider joining the IBHA before completing your conference registration. Please note that all presenters and panel chairs and commentators WILL need to be members of the IBHA before we can confirm their participation. 

For more information on the conference, membership, accommodations, transportation, extra activities, and the International Big History Association, check the IBHA website at www.ibhanet.org

If you have any problems with registration or have any further questions, please email: ibha@gvsu.edu

Program Committee: David Christian, Cynthia Brown, Craig Benjamin, and Fred Spier 

"The IBHA 2012 conference is intended to be a forum for open, honest, and wide-ranging academic discussions. All views and opinions expressed by participants during the IBHA conference are their sole responsibility. The IBHA does not assume any responsibility and/or liability for facilitating the expression of any views and opinions." 

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